Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @Dorey_TheHuddle

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: PIT 31, TEN 13 (Line: PIT by 5.5)

Players to Watch: Kendall Wright, Rashard Mendenhall

The 2-2 Steelers head to Tennessee looking for their first road win and the 1-4 Titans have only their freak win over the Lions to keep them from the cellar where they belong. The Steelers won 38-17 when the Titans were the visitors last season. This is the Thursday night game and that should keep the Steelers motivated.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 19-31 10 KC -----
2 NYJ 27-10 11 BAL -----
3 @OAK 31-34 12 @CLE -----
4 BYE ----- 13 @BAL -----
5 PHI 16-14 14 SD -----
6 @TEN ----- 15 @DAL -----
7 @CIN ----- 16 CIN -----
8 WAS ----- 17 CLE -----
9 @NYG ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT @ TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 280,3
QB Michael Vick 30 250,2
WR Antonio Brown 7-90
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 2-30
WR Jacoby Jones 2-20
TE Heath Miller 4-50,2
PK Shaun Suisham 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Steelers barely nipped the Eagles last week and Ben Roethlisberger fell from his normal high yardage and multiple passing scores to only 207 yards and no touchdowns. But his last road game resulted in 384 yards and four touchdowns against the Raiders in Oakland. The return of Rashard Mendenhall provided a spark top the rushing effort but nothing so big as to detract from what this passing offense intends to do each week. If anything, adding any success running the ball will only help the passing effort since defenses have had no reason to concern themselves with the run when they play the Steelers.

Mendenhall is one of the several running backs returning from a torn ACL who apparently have healed completely and without any signs of lingering problems. In his first action since last year, Mendenhall ran for 81 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and even added two catches for 20 yards. And that came against a normally good Philly rush defense. Playing at home is a bit of a help but overall the results were very encouraging for an offense that has seen nearly no rushing success from Jonathan Dwyer or Isaac Redman who have combined for just one touchdown over the first three games. This will remain a committee backfield of sorts and a reality is that Mendenhall is not likely to get a heavy rushing load in this pass-first offense. But he is new to the 2012 fantasy starters and so far has been rather impressive.

Heath Miller scored in each of the first three games including twice in Oakland but finally posted a low-key effort when he only turned in four catches for 41 yards versus the Eagles. He still remains the leading scorer for the Steelers and a favorite for Roethlisberger.

Mike Wallace had a problem holding onto the ball and dropped three passes last week including one potential long-gainer. He ended with just two receptions for 17 yards after having scored in each of the first three weeks and posted 123 yards on the Raiders. Antonio Brown has been far more consistent and has remained between 74 and 87 yards every week with just one touchdown that came, of course, against the Raiders. Last week he was pitted against Nnamdi Asomugha and still turned in seven receptions for 86 yards.

No reason to overanalyze here. The Titans have never allowed less than 30 points to any opponent and yet just one was able to score more than 14 points. That means the Steelers get a nice stats day so long as they remain motivated.

Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 11 18 9 8 13 27
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 26 26 18 32 31 27

QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @SEA 0000030021 ***
Big Ben is back, with 713 passing yards and five TDs in the past two games--even though he didn't finish one or start the other. And Carson Palmer's 363 and 3 proved there's no reason for quality quarterbacks to fear a trip to Seattle, so start Ben with a reasonable degree of confidence.
RB DeAngelo Williams, PIT @SEA 6004200000 ***
Williams' 17-54 at home against Cleveland in Pittsburgh's most recent game was one of the bigger fantasy disappointments of the season. Tough to trust him for a bounce back against a Seattle D that has yet to allow an 80-yard rusher in their house.
WR Martavis Bryant, PIT @SEA 003601000 **
Bryant has scored in four of five since returning from suspension and injury, and while this is by no means an easy matchup you shouldn't let the Legion of Boom scare you off. After all, if Fitz and Floyd can each go over 100 yards in Seattle there's no reason Bryant and Antonio Brown can't do the same.
WR Antonio Brown, PIT @SEA 0071100000 **
Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd posted matching 100-yard games in Seattle, so Legion of Boom or no Brown should continue to get his; over the past two weeks that's mean 27 catches, 423 yards and two TDs.
TE Heath Miller, PIT @SEA 006801000 ****
Heath's back to his old tricks with Ben Roethlisberger under center, settling in with three or four catches and 30-40 yards. The upside here is a Seattle defense that's allowed TE TDs in each of the past two games and seven tight end scores on the season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chris Boswell, PIT @SEA 2222 ***
Seattle has given up multiple treys in three straight; Boswell has kicked multiple field goals in four of the last five. Wouldn't be a surprise to see this one turn into a kicker-fest.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 13-34 10 @MIA -----
2 @SD 10-38 11 BYE -----
3 DET 44-41 12 @JAC -----
4 @HOU 14-38 13 HOU -----
5 @MIN 7-30 14 @IND -----
6 PIT ----- 15 NYJ -----
7 @BUF ----- 16 @GB -----
8 IND ----- 17 JAC -----
9 CHI ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Dexter McCluster
WR Harry Douglas 2-20
WR Kendall Wright 7-60
TE Anthony Fasano 4-40
PK Ryan Succop 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: It just keeps getting worse for the Titans. Last week without Jake Locker, the Titans hit a season low with only seven points scored despite allowing 30 points or more in every game. The schedule has been no friend and is not again this week but it gets slightly better in the second half of the season. The switch to Matt Hasselbeck had little results when he only passed for 200 yards and one score in Minnesota. After five weeks, this offense only has a total of seven touchdowns and a few of those came in trash time of decided games.

Chris Johnson somehow rang up 141 yards on 25 runs in Houston where they clearly did not care when he would run a draw in the second half when the Titans were being pummeled and needed to throw. Last week Johnson was back to normal when he only gained 25 yards on 15 runs.

Javon Ringer is out for up to six weeks with a torn MCL so there is no one else to turn to even if they wanted. Even with his one big game, Johnson only has 3.0 yards per carry. Take that away it is dives to 1.4 yards per run. There is just no reason to assume he is going to have a good game in any given week. Much less against the Steelers.

Jared Cook scored in two of the last three weeks which is big on a team with so little success passing. Cook ends with three or four catches per week with moderate yardage at best. He still remains below the fantasy radar.

Kenny Britt returned last week to post two receptions for 23 yards but his ankle is still not completely healed. He is expected to play in this game though he may be on a snap count with limited work. Nate Washington had early success and scored in the first two home games but has been shut down in every road venue. He'll need to step again at home this week for the Titans to remain in the game for any length of time. Kendall Wright comes off a career high nine catches for 66 yards in Minnesota and the rookie has been getting over eight passes per game since week two, He has already become the primary wideout for the Titans though the title so far brings only two touchdowns so far and even less respect. Wright has been a bright spot on a dull team.

The offense has been sluggish at best and needs for the opponent to stop caring and allow trash time and yardage. That is not likely to happen on Thursday night football against the Steelers. There is nothing on this team that suggests a trap game is in the making and the Steelers are just 2-2 so need every win.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 19 31 17 4 27 21
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 13 7 12 23 5 9

QB Marcus Mariota, TEN OAK 30000027021 ***
Oakland has held the last two quarterbacks they've faced to single touchdowns, while Mariota hasn't thrown a TD since Week 9 in New Orleans. However, he's running with more regularity and scored his first rushing TD as a pro last week, while Oakland let Matthew Stafford take a QB draw to the house. The upside of Mariota's rushing stats alone bump him up the fantasy charts.
RB Antonio Andrews, TEN OAK 800000000 ***
With David Cobb still in negative yardage as a pro this remains Andrews' gig. You would presume that means 15-plus carries, which he's consistently turned into positive yardage--230 at 4.6 yards per carry over the last three games in which he's seen that workload. Backs with more than 15 carries against Oakland have produce 63 & 2, 91, 170 & 2, and 203 & 1, so... volume, volume, volume.
WR Kendall Wright, TEN OAK 005601000 **
Wright is expected to return this week, and he'll likely slide right back into his gig as Marcus Mariota's favorite target. Against an Oakland defense that's allowed multiple receivers to score and/or top 50 yards in all five road games he doesn't even need to be the go-to guy; wingman duties will do just fine.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN OAK 003500000 ***
DGB has seen an uptick in targets but hasn't done much with them, and with Kendall Wright back in the mix Green-Beckham moves to the back burner--at which point his fantasy value hinges on his red zone work, and an Oakland D that's allowed only four WR TDs all year doesn't present a favorable matchup.
WR Harry Douglas, TEN OAK 002400000 ***
Douglas has done a serviceable Kendall Wright impersonation while Tennessee's WR1 has been sidelined with a knee injury. With Wright back at practice this week, Douglas returns to his usual role in the Titans' receiver rotation.
TE Delanie Walker, TEN OAK 007901000 ***
Last week was only the third in which a tight end didn't score against Oakland--and one of those was the bye week. Walker is coming off his third 10-target game of the season, targets he turned into 8-109. He's a solid bet to rack up plenty of yardage as Marcus Mariota's go-to guy, with the tangy zip of upside in the form of yet another TE TD against the Raiders.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN OAK 2222 ***
Succop has yet to reach double-digit points this season. The Raiders have given up at least 10 in three straight and six of nine this season--at least seven points in every contest, and multiple field goals in every game. Something's gotta give.

BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

a d v e r t i s e m e n t